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Viruses Have Many Strains

September 11th, 2014

Reports of a recent resurgence of enterovirus 68, an uncommon virus thathas caused clusters of severe respiratory illness among children, is most likely due to their not having previous exposure to this particular strain. Older people probably have been in contact with this virus and therefore will better tolerate further exposure. It is not clear how enterovirus 68 spreads, though the back-to-school season is a normal time for illnesses to spread among children. Symptoms are similar to a common cold with vomiting and diarrhea. It usually runs its course over 7-10 days.

“We have not diagnosed a case of this particular strain of virus, enterovirus 68 at the Good Samaritan Hospital Pediatric Specialty Care Center in Babylon,” said pediatric infectious disease specialist

Howard Balbi, MD. “Viruses do spread quickly and with so many people doing extensive traveling chances are greater that cases will present themselves.”

Children at higher risk are those with underlying respiratory issues such as asthma who might experience more severe signs of their illness which could lead to complications. “Parents need to be aware of any unusual signs a child might be exhibiting and seek medical attention immediately,” said Dr. Balbi.


Colleen Valdini
Manager, Public and External Affairs
(631) 376-4483